The Bradley County School Board is weighing what to do in the case of a tenured Hopewell teacher, Susan Elliott, who had domestic assault charges filed against her in July. The case was exponged because the alleged assault victim said he no longer wishes to file charges.
Although the charges were dismissed by the district attorney's office, they were not dismissed by the police department
On July 23, Ms.
Elliott's boyfriend at the time, Greg Grammer, swore to Cleveland Police that she had beaten him up while he was drunk and passed out at her home, but has since retracted his statement and been arrested himself on false accusation charges.
Bradley County Director of Schools Johnny McDaniel recommended, "Based on these charges and my capacity, if any (accusations) are true, then dismissal is warranted."
Board member Vicki Beaty asked the board's attorney, Chris McCarty, to explain if the charges had been dismissed by the police, but he said no. She asked if there were a due process hearing, would the responding officerbe asked to testify. The school board doesn't say "guilty" or "not guilty" attorney McCarty said, but "who is in charge of our children?"
He said "unprofessional conduct, neglect of duty, and incompetence" are all grounds for dismissal. Attorney McCarty and Mr. McDaniel both reminded the board that all the board was voting on was the totality of the case and its face value.
Ms. Elliott will be offered a due process hearing if she so chooses.Attorney McCarty encouraged the board and those involved to treat this like a court case - as if they're judge or jury - and to speak to no one regarding the case.
Board member Rodney Dillard was absent from the meeting and Nicholas Lillios voted against proceeding. But the board will move forward on the case.
New board member Chris Turner asked to be placed on the agenda to discuss the capital outlay budget. He asked to form a committee to evaluate the needs.
Board member Troy Weathers reminded Mr. Turner that the administration of the board needed to be involved, "not just a new board member." "We spend our money very wisely, and this sounds like something not to be taken lightly," said Mr. Weathers. Mr. Turner said, "It's the absence of criteria - what do we do with the leftovers." Chairman Charlie Rose said his tentative plan for the committee included himself, Mr. McDaniel, Chris Turner, Rick Smith and maintenance supervisor Larry Holcomb. Christy Chrichfield asked to be included.
Angie Lyon from Kaatz, Binkley, Jones and Morris said the firm will have roof and HVAC drawings ready for bid submittal within the next 10 days for Hopewell, Michigan Avenue, Ocoee Middle and Taylor Elementary. She said they will have the numbers for the board by their next meeting. She said there has been no news so far on the FEMA grant to which the system applied after the April 2011 tornadoes. The grant is awarded for schools planning storm-safe structures.
The board will meet in November for the TSBA convention and the second Thursday for their regularly scheduled meeting.